We live in a 1,000 square foot apartment in New York City. We have (2) bedrooms, a Living Room (and our dining room), an entrance hall, a kitchen (not eat-in), and 1 1/2 bathrooms. We also rent a 250 square foot storage space. I like living small. It keeps my tendency to accumulate treasures from flea markets and thrift stores in-check.
Nonetheless, we do think about making the big move out of the city, to the suburbs. So where did the "suburbs" come from? Here's a brief history:
1. Suburb is a distinctly American concept. The word itself comes from the Latin word suburbium, which is a combination of sub--or under--and urb--meaning city.
2. Ironically, in ancient Rome, the lower classes lived outside of the city, while the upper classes lived within the protective walls of the city.
3. The idea of the suburb as we know it today really developed after World War II, when FHA (Federal Housing Authority) loans became available and returning Servicemen moved en masse to the Suburbs--Levittown or its equivalent.
4. By 1950, there were more people living in the Suburbs than in cities for the first time.
5. New, hyper-efficient roads stimulated the growth of suburban outposts. Not only did these freeways provide direct access, they also carved literal and figurative divisions between classes.
6. In urban communities, the oftentimes close proximity of freeways to residential neighborhood reduced property values, and often resulted in urban decay, or urban blight.